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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anything you guys do to try to manage chalk brood in your apiary? Another cool slow spring here on the prairies, lots of chalk brood found in my hives... with the improvement of the weather and all my new queens installed I'm seeing less of it now.
 

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- More sun.
- More pollen.
- More ventilation.

Typically if the brood is chilled, if there is too much humidity in the hives, too little pollen available, you find chalkbrood at springtime. Once pollen is abundand and the temperatures go up, the disease disappears. If you find chalkbrood one can spray the bees lightly with sugar water to stimulate cleansing.

=> Requeen!

Some bees do get more chalkbrood than others. Being more hygienic. Requeening significantly helps to reduce chalkbrood.
 

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Ian I had a major problem with Chalk Brood haunting me all spring. Finally all but a few have cleared up now that its warm and plenty of pollen inbound. However the few that are still problematic are about to be requeened.

What will you do about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
However the few that are still problematic are about to be requeened.
ya, that is exactly it. I hear continuously that requeen chalkbrood infected hives... but I'm sure what is meant is requeen perpetually problematic hives.
One piece of advice I had been given was to remove entrance reducers to increase air circulation. I have not removed entrance reducers yet as we are not out of the robbing season yet. The spring warmth has arrived and with it our pollen flows, the chalkbrood has cleared up. This year I have my varroa under control, which leaves the chalkbrood topping the list of disease problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Typically if the brood is chilled,
Bernhard, I agree,
I think, during a cool wet spring, one of the best strategies a beekeeper can have is to leave the colony closed and alone!! Its a hard thing to do when we are trying to feed and stimulate them to build build build!!
 

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Interesting enough. Not sure what the requeening is supposed to do other than break the brood cycle. Will breaking the brood cycle help clear up chalkbrood? Is it similar to EFB in the effect that once you break the brood cycle it will clear up as it has no more open brood to infect?
 

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A few years ago we had some packages with terrible chalkbrood. We re queen ed with virgins...we had a commercial Beek visiting and saw the hives with all the mummies just before brood from the new queen emerged....he shook his head and suggested shaking them all out (august) and not bothering. ..within a few weeks of the new brood emerging the problem was simply gone.
 

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Is there a correlation between queens from certain supplier and chalkbrood?

I used to have major chalkbrood problems in spring when I used NZ queens. Most years I see almost none now. This year I had a little more, 5% of the hives at most and not many that had severe infections.

I did not use entrance reducers for several years and have again for the last 2 years. Mine have been off for almost a month by now. So maybe circulation is an important factor to reduce chalkbrood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is there a correlation between queens from certain supplier and chalkbrood?

I used to have major chalkbrood problems in spring when I used NZ queens. Most years I see almost none now. This year I had a little more, 5% of the hives at most and not many that had severe infections.

I did not use entrance reducers for several years and have again for the last 2 years. Mine have been off for almost a month by now. So maybe circulation is an important factor to reduce chalkbrood.
Ya, this spring I had a higher number of "certain supplier" queens coming out of winter. Did not see a correlation between them and the other queens I use. None at all in fact.
Im thinking I should just of taken off the entrance reducers. But I dont like leaving that big drafty entrance open in the spring and fall. Maybe I worry too much LOL
 

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We have noticed a correlation between dirty bottom boards and chalkbrood. The hive is given a "NH" on the rood, the bottom board scraped, and monitored next round. If still bad, a couple frames of capped brood from a good hive are added. If that clears up the bottom board and chalk brood, she gets a pass, but never contributes eggs to another hive. If not, Off with her head.

Crazy Roland
 

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The only really bad case we have ever had was in poorly ventilated nuc boxes.
 

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All of the above! In full sun out of the shade is the way to go. Requeen with
hygenic stock is good too. I bought hygenic queens from reputable breeders to keep them out. So far so
good to test hives that are both in the shade all day long and out in full sun. No difference with
the hygenic queens. Less chemical use is better for the long run, MHO.
Have you consider grafting your own disease resistant queens from your local apiary? There is a
thread mention about using local stock for long term sustainable hives.
 

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One jug of regular bleach per 200 gals of syrup does the trick.
Wow, that seems like a lot of bleach.

For sanitizing food contact surfaces: one tablespoon (1/2 fluid ounce) of typical chlorine bleach per gallon of water is the maximum that should be used. This is "close" to the dosage suggested above.

For drinking water (Ratio of Clorox Bleach to Water for Purification) : one gallon of Regular Clorox Bleach to 3,800 gallons of drinking water
 
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